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For the first time ever, there is now a proper event whereby manufacturers can compete alongside each other equally to prove which one has the the most fuel efficient car. The Darwin to Adelaide challenge, better know as the Global Green Challenge is set to commence this Saturday (October 24).

Previous years have seen the event take place but only include the World Solar Challenge which is essentially limiting the category to solar vehicles only. This year however will see the introduction of a new class to allow production and prototype eco friendly vehicles that are on their way (or already available) in showrooms.

The 17 cars involved will start from NT’s Parliament House in Darwin this Saturday and finish in Adelaide the Saturday after. The cars involved are powered by a wide variety of fuel saving technology.

At the very top, Internode ISP founder Simon Hackett (together with Kym Cleggett) will be leading the challenge in his all-electric Tesla sports car meanwhile on the otherside of the scale TopGear Australia magazine has entered a Honda ‘postie bike’ running on alcohol fuel.


Manufacturers that have contributed more than one car include: Ford, Kia, Hyundai, and BMW Mini. Additionally Holden, Skoda, and Holden Special Vehicles (HSV) have single car entries. Deep Green Research has decided to enter an all-electric Honda Civic. Students from Annesley College in Adelaide will also be involved in a modified Holden Viva.


BMW & Mini will enter three vehicles driven by Le Mans winner Vern Schuppan, ABC motoring commentator Will Hagon, and motoring writer Bob Jennings together with V8 Touring Car racer Chris Smerdon, Andy Ford, Jaedene Hudson, and BMW’s own Toni Andreevski.


Ford’s Fiesta Econetic will be driven by Motoring writer Peter McKay and Carolyn Barry. Interestingly the blue oval has also entered a Falcon XR6T driven by motoring writer Damien Smy and Russel Christophers.


Suzuki has entered its tiny Alto which will be piloted by Karla Pincott and Feann Torr.


Skoda will put Petra Beneda and Jenny Wu in a Superb, Holden’s Sportwagon 3.0 SIDI will be competing with Andrea Matthews, motoring writer Scott Heyward, and Simon Cassin behind the wheel.


On the Korean side, Kia will enter two new Sorento models piloted by rally drivers Brendan Reeves and Glen Raymond, Geoff Forshaw and Anthony Caldwell. Sister company Hyundai has entered two Sante Fe models driven by rally champion Ed Ordynski together with Motoring Editor Keith Didham. CarAdvice’s editor John Cadogan and Chris Riley are competing in the second Santa Fe.


Holden Special Vehicles has decided what better car to enter the Global Green Challenge in than a Maloo Ute.

The idea is to challenge the vehicles involved to produce the best results in comparison to their fuel/energy consumption and emissions listed in the Australian Design Regulation figures. It’s not particularly a race, more so a challenge to see which car company really can deliver the fuel economy it says it can.

Winners will be selected based on the greatest percentage improvement of the official government figures published in the Green Car Guide. As such, the challenge will also include two ‘urban’ cycles, one in Darwin and one in Adelaide. The main event is a 3,000 kilometre journey from Darwin to Adelaide.

The week long challenge itinerary is as follows:

  • Darwin – Start Saturday October 24
  • Katherine – Overnight Saturday October 24
  • Tennant Creek – Overnight Sunday October 25
  • Alice Springs – Overnight Monday October 26
  • Cooper Pedy – Overnight Tuesday October 27
  • Port Augusta – Overnight Wednesday October 28
  • Adelaide – Overnight Thursday October 29
  • Adelaide – Urban cycle Friday October 30
  • Adelaide – Global Green Challenge Awards Ceremony Saturday October 31 (Adelaide Convention Centre 6.30pm – invitation only)

Of course the first thing we noticed was Toyota’s name missing from the list. We asked Toyota Australia why the company had not entered the Global Green Challenge.

The main reason was timing. Unfortunately our financial year is in line with Japan’s, that is April to March. We were approached by the organisers after we had committed our budget for Hybrid to other marketing activities, we couldn’t justify diverting funds from these activities to the Global Green Challenge.” Toyota Public Relations manager Mike Breen told CarAdvice.

We’d like to know which manufacturer you believe will perform the best in this year’s Global Green Challenge.